We have yet to find a line Ezra Miller can cross that would cause Warner Bros. Discovery to throw in the towel of the Flash movie, but the situation seems to be inching dangerously close to worst-case scenarios. Last week, new CEO David Zaslav reaffirmed the studio’s commitment to releasing the movie; it was even revealed that the actor participated in reshoots this summer, amidst several disturbing controversies and legal issues.
This week, Miller has been accused of shielding the whereabouts of the 25-year-old mother and her three children that were previously living with them on their Vermont farm. Rolling Stone reported that state police attempted to serve an emergency care order to remove the children from the mother, but Miller claimed the family hadn’t lived there in “months.” (Per the outlet, the young mother had been posting on Instagram from the property through mid-July, when she deleted her account.)
The state attorney’s office apparently thinks this was an attempt by Miller to “evade service” of the order. Police attempted to serve the order multiple times over the weekend and visited the farm again on Tuesday (during one of these visits, Miller was served a citation for burglary). The whereabouts of the family are as yet unknown.
Given the inconsistent slash-and-burn tactics happening with DC at the moment, fans can’t help but compare the canceled Batgirl to The Flash. It does feel unfair: a film with lots of exciting talent (and a young, Latina lead) but a so-so early test score gets the shaft, while The Flash not only moves forward but gets reshoots between its star’s arrests?
Of course, the answer is money, not morals. The Flash is a $200 million blockbuster–simply too big to fail for the floundering DCEU. Miller is reportedly in almost every scene and plays “multiple characters.” (Can DC fans even get excited about a multiverse of Barry Allens under these conditions?)
According to a source for The Hollywood Reporter, pulling a plug on the film is the absolute last resort, and only if “things go from bad to worse,” whatever that means. It’s chilling to imagine just how much worse things would have to get for WB Discovery to cut its losses.
Much preferable to the studio would be one of its other contingency plans. In one, Miller seeks professional help and then gives “an interview at some point explaining their erratic behavior over the past few years,” after which they’d be allowed to do “limited press” for the movie.
While at first glance this may be somewhat shocking to contemplate, there’s certainly a precedent for Hollywood to accept alleged abusers back in the fold. Yet there’s no real comparison for Miller’s international antics in the industry; as much as their behavior is upsetting (and seemingly dangerous), it’s also become a unique spectacle. Even if the studio manages to push Miller into an apology tour, their previous behavior will be an inevitable distraction from the film during the press lead-up.
The other option, per THR’s source, is that if Miller doesn’t seek help, they’ll be cut from any press and marketing surrounding the film (which would obviously still be moving forward in this scenario). The insider also notes that Miller would no longer be The Flash going forward and the role would be recast.
This implies that there’s somehow still a way forward for more Miller Flash movies, which is another head-scratching proposition. The film must be some sort of unprecedented masterpiece if WB Discovery is not only willing to forgive Miller, but thinks that the audience will, too. It seems like an extremely risky bet to make (and counter to Zaslav’s claims of a DC “reset”), and it all hinges on the good behavior of an actor who has proven erratic at best, dangerous at worst.
Hopefully, those worst-case scenarios never come to pass, but, regardless, it seems unlikely that The Flash will escape unscathed.